June 30, 2012
Pick yourself up, SUDS yourself off, and start all over again…
We’re back! Welcome to Summer of Funner 2012!
Over the past few months of our Lunchbox Season, the kids have been forming a list of all of their requests for activities for their Summer of Funner 2012. We’ve got plenty of fun and crazy activities planned for the coming months. Stay tuned for more science projects, crazy crafts, kitchen adventures and local “vacations.”
First up: Soap-making!
At the top of Bea’s Summer of Funner wish-list was “soap-making.” This threw me for a loop! Soap making is something I have never tried before, and, to be quite honest, something I had never really planned on trying. Until now, when I thought of “Summer” and “Soap” together, all that came to mind was the word “LYE” and the stench and smell of those ugly pink and amber bars of soap my brother and I used to scrub with when we had gotten into the poison ivy! Why not make some better memories, I thought!
But where to begin? A local craft store. While we didn’t resort to a “kit,” we didn’t work entirely from scratch…Passing over the pre-fabbed and rather ridiculously priced birthday-gift boxed sets at the art supply store, we chose a few ready-made products that would help us to create our soap masterpieces: Clear Glycerin Soap, Soap Colours, and Essential Oils. With these soap-making supplies in hand, we made two basic soaps, Yellow Mango Soap and Turquoise Cucumber Green Tea Soap. Then, of course, we improvised by sinking old plastic toys into our soap bars and by pouring our soaps into candy molds to make small soap animals.
1 2lb brick of Clear Glycerin Soap
Soap Scent or Essential Oil:
1 Vial Mango soap scent
1 Lavendar & Green Tea Essential Oil
Soap or Candy Molds:
Soap bar mold
Animal-shaped candy molds from last summer’s Chocolate Day
You could also just use the wax-lined bottoms of small milk cartons
Soap-Colouring [we had vials of turqouise, green and yellow]
Honey, for sweetness and colour
Small Hard Plastic Toys
For Next Time: dried herbs, like lavendar, for texture
Disposable Wooden Chopsticks
Large heat-friendly, microwave-safe meauring cup or bowl, preferably with a spout for pouring
Microwave or Double Boiler
Technique [Visual Gallery Below]
Have a parent slice the soap brick into small blocks or cubes.
Place 6-12 cubes of soap into a large microwave-safe glass measuring cup.
Microwave on high in 20 second bursts until soap is entirely melted.
[Alternatively, you can melt the soap in a double-boiler.]
Add several teaspoons of honey if so desired and stir with chopstick.
Add essential oil or soap scent if so desired and stir with chopstick.
Add colour if so desired and stir with chopstick.
Add dried herbs if so desired and stir with chopstick.
To make animal shaped soap:
Pour soap into candy molds
To may toy soap bars:
Place a small hard plastic or rubber toy into a soap-bar mold face down.
Pour soap over the toy into the mold.
If the toy wants to float, hold it down in the mold with a wooden chopstick for the first 3-5 minutes of cooling.
After 2-3 minutes have passed, use a chopstick to gather and skim bubbles off of the surface of the soap in the mold.
Cool all soaps for at least 40-60 minutes.
After our soaps had hardened for about 20 minutes, we placed them in the fridge for a good two hours.
Now, Bea and tobes are not big on bath-time. They can easily go for a solid week without bathing. But on this Friday, Soap Day, THE VERY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER VACATION, they were outright PLEADING to have a bath the moment the soaps had cooled! I can’t think of an easier and cleaner way to start to the summer! And now, we have special soaps to use over and again as we get messier and messier over the course of Summer of Funner 2012!
Paints, Inks, Jams, and Jellies, here we come!!!!!